Active learning requires the student to develop skills in assessing their own learning needs and developing strategies to meet those needs. In this "graduate school" approach, the student takes responsibility for their own learning, including documenting objectives and achievements. It requires abilities in self-assessment, reflective practice and dedication to continuous improvement. A core skill-set for active learning is information mastery - the ability to identify, assess, integrate and apply valid scientific/clinical information in evidence-based practice. The ACE curriculum will incorporate active learning throughout the academic environment, including preparing faculty for changing roles in education.
The clinical skills program ensures that students achieve competency in patient care skills, medical procedures, and interpersonal communication. Using mock examination and procedure rooms and a cadre of standardized patients, the clinical skills program has been expanded, strengthened and integrated throughout the curriculum. Training and assessment of competency, achievement of milestones and attainment of proficiency in EPAs will be a major responsibility of the clinical skills program.
The current early preceptorship will be transformed into an integrated longitudinal clinical experience in which students learn and demonstrate real world abilities in acute and long-term patient care. Each student will be engaged in substantial and meaningful roles in the health care team appropriate to their stage of professional development. The curriculum will prepare students to optimize learning through clinical participation from entry to medical school. Students will be required to meet clinically-related milestones in EVERY course.
Valid assessment and monitoring of progress facilitates the mentoring of students in the drive to excellence. It also enables early iden-tification of issues for more focused remediation services. The ACE curriculum will utilize formats of examinations that include NBME and non-MCQ forms of assessment. Where appropriate, reflective papers, essays, work products and presentations will be utilized for both formative and summative assessments. Frequent testing through internally authored examinations will also occur, complemented with NBME examinations as part of the longitudinal assessment of students and external validation of student perfor-mance based on national standards.
In 1999, the School of Medicine established Academic Societies to foster a collegial learning environment through student-student, student-faculty, and faculty-faculty interactions. Like other learning communities, the academic societies evolved from an initial focus on learning, leadership development, and community service to a substantial role in core educational programs that promote scholarship, professional development, and collegial relationships. Emphasis is on the promotion of professional behaviors, compassionate, patient-centered care, health practitioner well-being, and lifelong learning .
Simulation is central to the development of skills required to handle real life medical situations. The School of Medicine has developed a high-quality, innovative program in clinical simulation for learners at all levels. Students will develop patient-centered skills, team-work and collaborative behaviors through inter-professional interactions in a "virtual health care center" housed in dedicated clinical skills facilities.